More than 50,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors and Marines have been injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 2,000 of them are now amputees. Marine veteran Rob Jones says his cross country bike trip is for them.
From a distance, the 28 year old looks like any other cyclist enjoying the last of autumn’s splendor in the Camden foot hills in Maine. It’s only up close that you realize this is no ordinary bike trip – since Jones’ legs are man made.
“I’m a combat engineer, so my job when there are IED’s is to find them. I found it with my foot,” said Jones. He lost both legs above the knee in Afghanistan, but not his determination.
He’s riding across the country, 5,400 miles in all, from Bar Harbor, Maine to San Francisco. Calif. He has an entourage of one; his 17-year-old brother Steve Miller.
They will spend around 6 months sleeping on cots in the back of a box truck, eating camping food along the way. They log around 30 miles a day.
Jones can’t stand on his bike to power up the hills because he has no knee joints. Because he has no knees, he can’t use his quads. He powers the bike with his hips and hip. But this Marine says he’s never shied away from a challenge. “The harder you push yourself, the more you’re gonna grow as a person. That’s what life is about for me,”.
Jones powerful message is painfully clear to his kid brother who watches every move he makes from behind the wheel of the support truck. “If someone can do an activity that requires legs, and do it without legs, then you can do anything,” said Miller.
Jones will donate 100 percent of any donations to three charities: The Coalition to Salute Americas Heroes, The Marine Semper Fi Fund and Ride 2 Recovery. He’s hoping to raise more than $1 million.
To follow Jones’ journey across America click here
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